Anxiety range

While most EV drivers charge at home, range anxiety remains a significant barrier for buyers who drive regularly outside the home, according to industry surveys, so greater investment in public chargers is also seen by analysts as a key driver of EV ownership.

Most of the public chargers are located along the US coast, but new laws promoted by the Biden administration would provide significant funds to build stations in regions where electric vehicle use is low. The new chargers also provide much faster charging than the old ones.

“With $5 billion in electric vehicle charging networks (and more to come) available under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, states are lining up for their share of the federal bounty,” S&P Global said. Another set of EV-related incentives is provided by the new Inflation Reduction Act.

“There’s no doubt that the charger shortage is affecting the Midwestern states,” Martin said.

Among the states in the S&P study, Wyoming and North Dakota had the lowest national share of electric vehicles, at virtually 0 percent between January and August. Wyoming sold 146 electric vehicles during the period, while North Dakota sold 143.

As a group, EV adoption was both low and stagnant in 22 states compared to coastal states.

“While the Heartland states accounted for 27.1 percent of total U.S. retail vehicle sales through August, their representation in electric vehicle adoption remained flat from 2021 to this year at 15.5 percent,” the report said. S&P Global. “Only Colorado and Nevada (and to a small extent Utah) exceed their total retail share of EV dealerships.”

Other states at the center of the study include Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to S&P Global, the largest markets for electric vehicles are West Coast metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle. The top 10 also includes New York, Washington, Miami and Chicago.

In California, Tesla is the No. 2 brand by volume behind Toyota, according to the California New Car Dealers Association. Ford is No. 3 and Honda is No. 4, the association said, citing registrations from January to September. Battery electric vehicles overall accounted for 16 percent of sales in California through September.

While non-coastal regions have a long way to go before adopting electric vehicles, some cities in the heart of the country have shown progress this year, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Missoula, Montana, and Salt Lake City, according to S&P Global.

America’s core is likely to embrace battery electric vehicles the way Asian cars did decades ago — through a process that starts on the US coast and moves inland.

“BEV adoption is a long-term process that needs to reach an inflection point similar to the adoption or acceptance of Asian-origin vehicles in the US,” Libby said. “That tipping point is when the product becomes mainstream, and it usually happens when volume and exposure reach a level that affects all non-reluctance releases.”

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